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Computing Blog Spring/Summer 2022

As we started the Spring and Summer terms, Computing started by still being taught in year group blocks, and then reverted back to hourly lessons per class after Easter. This is what the children learnt during 2022:

Year 6 – In this final part of the academic year for year 6, they were really challenged with their coding skills both using Scratch to make a multiple choice quiz, Kodu to see and tinker with as another kind of coding program and finally, Python, which the children thoroughly enjoyed learning. They also learned some new concepts ready for Secondary school including Binary, Boolean Logic, Computational Thinking and Databases. They furthered their knowledge in Computer Networks for the final time learning about three different types of networks, as well as extending their knowledge about using the Internet. What a busy, exciting time for Computing!

Year 5 – In the Summer term, year 5 were learning about Graphical Modelling and Simulation. They started their journey around these concepts by learning about graphical modelling by understanding about the differences between paint and graphics programs, then they moved on to creating floor plans of a classroom and manipulating objects for the layout. They watched videos about modelling using architecture and finally designed their own kitchen space using Ikea’s free design program, which they thoroughly enjoyed and the creative flair started to shine! They then moved on to learning about Simulation programs, games and finally in paired programming created a Planet Simulation (Sun-Earth-Moon) with a pen block to trace the rotations as they coded the Moon to rotate around the Earth and the Earth around the Sun. Some fantastic results ensued!

Year 4 – For the first part of the summer term, the children refreshed and extended their knowledge of the Internet (refreshing any missed learning from Year 3) learning about web crawlers, the differences between the Internet and the World Wide Web, as well as understanding about how searches are ranked. They discussed the reliability of researching information, knowing how to check for reliable sites and then ended the half-term role playing in their groups how information is passed around a network. In the second part of the term, year 4 the children were challenged to use all their previous knowledge of Computing to organise an imaginary end-of-school party for their class and teacher. This was the first time that this task had been done in Year 4 but they were up for the challenge and didn’t disappoint with their creative skills! Both classes had to create an email invitation, an advert for the party, a menu and timetable of events, as well as a food budget (incorporating their maths skills) and an interactive map to the venue. They chose either to work in pairs or independently and were fully engaged in their ideas. The children used a combination of Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Publisher and Scratch for this task, and the results were fantastic!

Year 3 – In year 3 the children learnt about the Internet (delayed due to covid restrictions) and so enjoyed locating things in the computer suite by role playing being web crawlers, categorising and collecting information, learning about the contents of a webpage, designing a new website home page for school to learning how to use keywords and symbols to return better results when searching the Internet, as well as keeping safe while doing so. They then moved on to using their newly learnt techniques by doing some Internet researching with partners. After the half term, the children moved on to understanding databases – what they are, how they are used in the real world and what information they provide. They started off by learning important vocabulary (Record/Field/Attributes) by making paper database cards then grouping these and sorting. This then moved on to looking at computer databases and retrieving information from these, discussing real life databases like our own school database of children who attend, to finally making a branching database where the children had to select objects and create data questions based on these. Brilliant learning!

Year 2 – In year 2 this term the children were really excited to be introduced to the coding program, Scratch. They worked on a class task with me where they had to make a simple resource based around the food chain of a Fox. The children firstly “tinkered” with Scratch (yes this is an official Computing term!) which allowed them to explore what the program can do and how it works. This was very exciting for them. Then they worked in paired partners to create the resource. This was different to previous year tasks, but they really rose to the challenge and had lots of fun in the process. After the Jubilee half-term, the children took to learning about the Internet at an age-appropriate level (also while keeping safe). They learnt how to access the Internet, how to search using one word (their favourite word CBEEBIES!) and then understanding about LINKS. After this, they paired up with a friend to practise searching the Internet for teacher-given sites and answering questions about the information. What super researchers!

Year 1 – Children in year 1 furthered their learning of programs by exploring Microsoft Word this term. They used programs to produce artwork and a simple leaflet based on their favourite animals. They also furthered their learning of programmable toys and used both physical Beebots and online Beebots to give instructions to, to reach a given point on a map. They also designed their own maps in groups, drawing their favourite things so they could direct the Beebots around the map, with their new vocabulary “Forwards, Backwards, Left Turn and Right Turn”. They also began learning about the Internet by using fun activities like “Technology Bingo” and recognising web browser icons. They drew and wrote about technology that can use the Internet and finally used the Internet to search for CBeebies Games. What great fun!

Reception – Reception finally returned to the Computer Suite for the Summer term and began the fun of extending their keyboarding skills. Children used some great simple age-appropriate games which encouraged them to locate the letters and numbers on their keyboards ready for year 1. In “keyboard climber” they were always keen to race the monkey through the tree, moving up the tree into the sky and then finally through space to land on the moon. Keyboarding skills are a really important skill to have when using a computer and will benefit the children massively as they begin the year 1 National Curriculum for Computing. Super!